Why You Need To Clean Your Filters
Hydroponics growers enjoy cultivating vegetables with very little effort but a common tendency is to be too lethargic to properly clean the mesh filters throughout the grow cycle. After all, a well designed hydroponics system pretty much runs on its own. But aside from checking water pH and nutrient TDS in the reservoir, it’s also important to ensure the main filter in the irrigation delivery system is free from debris and impediments.
Over the course of the grow cycle, the recirculating nutrient solution picks up debris along the way. Most of it comes from small particulates of the grow media itself but there’s also bio-matter from loose plants roots. These particulates end up back in the reservoir and go through the decomposition process. This may give rise to fungal and bacterial disease, not to mention will clog up your inlet flow in the main filter.
If you notice that your emitters are not dripping properly, first check if your pump is on. Then turn off the pump and let the lines bleed out. Unscrew your filter cap from the housing and take out the mesh screen cartridge. You’ll see the extent of the clog.
Use an old toothbrush to scrub the inside and outside of the mesh filter and rinse well in a pale of water.
Re-insert back into the filter housing and screw the cap back on, ensuring it is neither loose or too tight. Turn on the pump and check for any leaks.
Cleaning the filters must be a regular part of maintenance to keep your system running smoothly. If not, you will risk a defective pump, which is more expensive than taking a 5-minute effort to clean the filters.